Mom touched my underdress—a gown made six hundred years before—and her eyes widened as she rubbed the raw silk between thumb and forefinger. She turned and touched Lia’s gown. “Where did you get these clothes?” In Cascade, the second book in the River of Time Series, Gabi knows she’s left her heart in the fourteenth century and she persuades Lia to help her to return, even though they know doing so will risk their very lives. When they arrive, weeks have passed and all of Siena longs to celebrate the heroines who turned the tide in the battle against Florence—while the Florentines will go to great lengths to see them dead. But Marcello patiently awaits, and Gabi must decide if she’s willing to leave her family behind for good in order to give her heart to him forever.
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This is the second book in the River of Time Trilogy, the third book is Torrent. I didn’t like this book quite as much as Waterfall. It was still a very engaging book and made for a wonderful historical fantasy. Gabi and Lia are back in modern times and trying to explain to their mother about the time portal and what happened. Gabi finally convinces Lia and her mother to return to 14th century Italy via the time portal. When they get there they find that weeks, not hours, have passed. Marcello is still waiting for Lia and Lia and Gabi are celebrated as heroes. The battle still rages between Florence and Siena. Gabi has a difficult question to answer, will she stay in the past and follow her heart by being with Marcello even if it means living a war torn life.This story started a bit slow. Once they return to Siena there is a lot of lovey dovey going on between Gabi and Marcello. Marcello wants to keep Gabi safe and loves her. Gabi loves Marcello but doesn’t want to be stifled by him. They both love each other and adore each other and we hear about it constantly for quite awhile. I don’t mind the romance, it is sweet, but there was just too much gazing and longing in the first part.After that things really pick up and the second part of the book is filled with intrigue, battles, and lots of action. This was an excellent part of the book. You have to love the characters in this series; they are noble and good, but also have good senses of humor. I love the historical setting and enjoyed the beautiful style of writing. The book is so easy to read and moves quickly.There is another thing about the story that bothered me. At one point the characters are exposed to the black plague and one of them actually catches it. The story makes a huge deal about this, the characters isolate themselves so as not to spread the plague etc. As the story continues and war ensues, this is brushed aside. We see the character in question later fully healed, but we don’t know how they healed. We also don’t learn if any of the other people in the party got the plague. The whole thing, which is so important for a large portion of the story, is just brushed aside with minimal resolution. The book ends with another kind of cliffhanger. I am eager to see how all of this resolves in the third, and final, book Torrent. Overall a good continuation of this series. Gabi and Marcello’s need to constantly profess their love bothered me in the beginning of the story and the topic of the black plague been brought up and then dropped was another issue for me. The writing style was very beautiful, the characters are engaging and have a good sense of humor, the setting is fascinating, and the action scenes are very well done. I definitely recommend this series to fans of historical fantasy with a large dash of romance.more
(Note: This review is for both Cascade and Torrent)In short: Though I needed more depth than the River of Time series by Lisa T. Bergren was able to give me, I do actually recommend this series if you're looking for a fun, fast-paced read.The River of Time series has received so much hype and positive reviews that I just had to jump on the bandwagon and read it too. And I can see why this series is so popular. The extremely fast pace, the non-stop action, the swoon-worthy boys men, the feisty and brave heroines - the River of Time series is Entertainment with a capital "E". At no point is there ever any scene that is boring and at no point is there ever any lull in the non-stop adventures of the Betarrini Family.At times, however, I felt the series was actually a bit too fast-paced for me - and this was ultimately the major factor in every little problem I had with the series. Plot points could have been better developed, characters and character relationships could have been further explored, and the time travel aspect could have been better explained, if only the series had slowed up the pace a bit more and included these things. Action scene after action scene is really fun, but I needed some filler to fully flesh out the story. And I really needed to know why Gabi and fam thought it was okay to completely mess with world history.Something that really bothered me about the series, which I believe stemmed from the extremely fast pacing and not enough time spent developing the characters, is that Gabi and Lia kill A LOT of people and feel no remorse for it. We see them experiencing some grief after their first human kills in Waterfall, and then NOTHING in Cascade and Torrent. I realize that they're in a war situation and killing in defense is inevitable and I'm not asking for an all out Angst Fest here, but I needed for these young girls who grew up in the 21st century to feel something about these countless people they were killing, especially in a series where there are several passages where Gabi reflects on the value of human life. And though this has nothing to do with this series being considered Christian Fiction - because if you are a GOOD person, you will feel remorse for killing someone no matter what your religion - I was kind of under the impression that God wasn't down with killing humans.Am I taking this series too seriously? Probably. But if that isn't an indication that what is supposed to be a light, fun read isn't the type of read for me, then I don't know what is. I needed more depth than the River of Time series was able to give me. This all being said however, I do actually recommend this series. All my complaints are obviously highly subjective and I think the vast majority of people would actually really enjoy spending an action-filled time with a cast of fun characters in Lisa T. Bergren's River of Time series.more
Cascade picks up right where Waterfall drops off. Gabi and Lia have returned from fourteenth century Italy, but Gabi has left her heart in the past. Gabi convinces Lia to return to the past with her, despite the risks. The sisters find themselves in the middle of a fanfare celebrating their heroism for saving Siena. Everything seems to be going well, accept for Gabi's relationship with Marcello. She's left to decide if she should remain in ancient Italy forever, and forsake her family, or return home, and forsake her heart.I'll admit -I wasn't incredibly impressed with Waterfall. Maybe it's because I read and ARC of the book, so it wasn't completely polished -or maybe it's because the ARC I read was factory defective: it was printed upside down and from right-to-left, instead of left-to-right. Needless to say, this probably impacted my reading experience in a negative way. Still, I read the entire book and thought it was a lovely YA historical novel.Cascade, on the other hand, is a considerable improvement on Waterfall. This time, the world and characters have already been established, so author Lisa T. Bergren has the opportunity to really expand on her characters and the world in a new and compelling way. This time, I felt like the romance between Gabi and Marcello was more mature, more genuine, and the plot far more compelling. Though Gabi has established herself as a heroine, she now finds herself firmly in the cross hairs of an enemy that would see her dead.As a fan of YA novels and historical fiction, Cascade satisfies both of these interests perfectly. This is a wonderful series for readers who enjoy a little history, a little romance, and a well-constructed plot that'll keep you flipping pages up to the very end.more
AHHH-MAZINGGGGGG.This is such a delicious series. More twists, more adventure, more danger, more kick-ass she-wolves moments, more yummy knights in armor! Gotta love when an author is capable of making you fall in love with every single character. Especially the male characters, of course! (I'm in love with Fortino!) Also, I have a feeling I'll be Team Rodolfo in the next one! Yeah, I feel a triangle-awesomeness coming. And I always love the naughtier of the two.The story picks up exactly where Waterfall left off. With one of the best first lines of any sequel I've read, it pulls you right back in from the very first sentence. I felt the world set around me, as if I had never left. Gabi's voice remains as fresh and awesome as before, while the story moves on, bringing more complications in its way.Lisa's wonderful writing full of descriptions and vivid imagery, makes you 'see' everything. It's so rich when you are able to 'see' the past through books. I felt alive, just like Gabi did, when I was immersed in her world. And SO MANY surprises and so many OMG moments! It reminded me a bit of The Hunger Games with the cage stuff. So Katniss!Anyway, my verdict: a must-read for everyone.more
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